Bombardier plans to shed thousands of jobs through 2018

Bombardier’s Learjet plant in Wichita.
Bombardier’s Learjet plant in Wichita. The Wichita Eagle

Bombardier will eliminate another 7,500 jobs across its aircraft and rail businesses through 2018, the Canadian parent of Wichita’s Learjet said Friday.

The actions are part of the Montreal-based company’s five-year turnaround plan announced last year.

Those actions include streamlining its administrative and non-production functions company-wide and creating centers of excellence for design, engineering and manufacturing in the aircraft and rail operations.

Two-thirds of the cuts will be in Bombardier’s transportation division, which is its rail business.

“While restructuring is always difficult, the actions announced today are necessary to ensure Bombardier’s long-term competitiveness and position the company to continue to invest in its industry leading portfolio while also deleveraging its balance sheet,” Bombardier CEO Alain Bellemare said in a news release.

It’s not yet clear how the plan will affect jobs at Bombardier’s Wichita site, which includes a business jet service center, flight test center and the Learjet plant.

Bombardier Business Aircraft spokesman Mark Masluch said the company isn’t yet disclosing site-specific job cuts, although 2,000 jobs will be eliminated in Canada and 5,500 at its sites outside of Canada, including the U.S.

Bombardier also has significant operations in Germany and Mexico. The company expects to reach recurring savings of $300 million through these latest actions.

Bombardier said job cuts will be partially offset by “strategic” hires for its C Series airliner and Global 7000 business jet programs as well as in its rail business. That would also extend to the company’s jet service centers, Masluch said.

“As much as possible, we want to offset the impact of this decision,” he said.

Jerry Siebenmark: 316-268-6576, @jsiebenmark